21st Century Fox

Employees: 21,000 (2015)

Revenue: US$29.98 billion (2015)

Country: United States

21st Century Fox is the world’s premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents across the globe. The company is home to cable and broadcasting properties such as FOX, FX, FOX Sports, STAR India, and National Geographic Partners, as well as the Twentieth Century Fox film and television production studios. Since 2007, 21st Century Fox has committed to minimizing its environmental impacts, growing sustainably, and inspiring others to take action. 

  • Key targets / successes

    21CF publicly discloses its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through CDP annually and has been recognized on the S&P500 Disclosure Leadership Index for the past seven consecutive years. The company has set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 25%, reduce carbon emissions from Fox feature film productions by 15% per shoot day, and reduce emissions from scripted television productions by 10% per episode, all by 2020. 21CF is also in the process of developing an innovative methodology to measure the carbon emissions from the life cycle of a feature film. 

    At the Fox Studios lot in Los Angeles, water conservation has become an increasingly critical component of the company’s sustainability plan. Through turf replacement and a new computerized irrigation system, the Fox lot is saving an estimated 1.5 million gallons of water per year. The company is currently in the process of installing flow meters for the irrigation system to more precisely track its water use.

    In 2010, Fox Studios partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy through their Commercial Buildings Partnership program to design, construct, and deploy new energy efficient technologies for cooling their office buildings and film stages. The studio collaborated with top engineers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on the project, which is now saving the studio an estimated 2.6 million kWh in energy per year – a cost savings of more than $1,000 a day.

    In addition to the company’s operational efforts, 21CF raises awareness and inspires sustainable thinking in audiences and employees through pioneering content like Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Epic, Rio, Xploration Station, and Avatar. National Geographic Channel’s recent Breakthrough series dedicated episodes to global water scarcity and alternative energy sources. In April, FOX continued its annual Green It. Mean It. campaign, where talent from its shows give viewers quick tips on how to make their homes and workplaces more environmentally friendly. 

    To match the environmental messaging on-screen, Fox leads special efforts behind the scenes to make the productions as sustainable as possible. For example, sets for both the 24: Live Another Day and The X-Files event series were constructed using 100% FSC-certified lumber and were either recycled or sold to other productions after filming wrapped. 

    The company also engages its employees on sustainability through initiatives like a ban on plastic water bottles and bags from the lot’s restaurants, a yearly global Earth Month campaign, and the Fox Commute program, which rewards those who walk, bike, take public transportation, carpool, or use hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles. 

  • Current activities

    21st Century Fox expanded its partnership with National Geographic in 2015 to create National Geographic Partners, a new media venture bringing together all of National Geographic’s media assets, including the legendary magazine, television channels that reach viewers in 171 countries, and unrivaled social media following. 27% of all proceeds from the company will support the National Geographic Society’s science, research, conservation, and exploration initiatives.

    Years of Living Dangerously

    In October 2016, the National Geographic Channel will premiere the second season of Years of Living Dangerously, the Emmy Award winning documentary series on climate change issues. The new season will feature Hollywood correspondents such as James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Letterman, and Jack Black giving first-person accounts from locations around the world where the effects of climate change are most prevalent. The series will air in 171 countries across 45 languages. 


    National Geographic Channel will also air Parched, the latest documentary miniseries from Going Clear director Alex Gibney, about the world’s dwindling water supply and the actions we can take toward greater water conservation. Parched will premiere globally on Nat Geo channels in 171 countries and will receive a limited theatrical release.

    Sports Broadcasts

    21st Century Fox is currently assessing the energy efficiency and sustainability opportunities at its broadcasts of major sports events. Efforts include a life cycle analysis of broadcast operations both at the venue and in the studio, as well as engaging suppliers to increase their alternative fuel use and source other materials responsibly. 

    Xploration Station

    Xploration Station is an Emmy Award nominated three-hour block of STEM-focused programming for young people airing Saturday mornings on Fox stations across the U.S. The block includes series such as Xploration Awesome Planet, hosted by Philippe Cousteau, grandson of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau, Xploration Outer Space, hosted by NASA scientist Emily Calandrelli, and Nature Knows Best, hosted by marine biologist Danni Washington which showcases biomimicry in modern technology and innovative design.

    Television Production

    Fox continues to lead the industry in environmentally sustainable television production. Drawing on the work of previous Fox productions such as 24: Live Another Day, this year’s The X-Files event series was able to divert 81% of the production’s total waste from landfill, use 100% FSC certified mahogany for set construction, recycle 100% of the aluminum and steel used in set construction, and avoid 33 tonnes of CO2 emissions, generating nearly $41,000 in cost savings. 

    Solar Power on the Fox Lot

    The company is nearly completion of a new solar PV installation at its studio lot in Los Angeles, bringing the total onsite renewable capacity at this location to nearly 1.5 megawatts. 

    DVD and Digital Supply Chains

    Fox Home Entertainment partnered with Wal-Mart to reduce the environmental impact of its DVDs and pioneered eco-friendly DVD cases that have become the industry standard. Changes to the packaging design resulted in a 39% reduction in DVD case weight and an 18% reduction in GHG emissions from production and distribution. The work was replicated for Fox’s Blu Ray products and resulted in a 29% reduction in GHG emissions from production and distribution. The company is currently conducting a similar analysis on its digital home releases.

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